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345

wavering and uncertain. Professor Ball stood behind the
soldiers.

Mr, Munn stood beside the soldier with the lamp.

" Open that door/' the officer ordered, loud. Even in the
unsure light Mr. Munn could see that his face was flushing
with irritation. As he spoke he truculently thrust his head
forward.

" No," the voice from beyond the door said faintly, " you
can't come in. Not in my room. You haven't any right."

The deputy grinned. Nodding confidentially at the soldier
who had come up with Mr. Munn, he remarked: " She said
no man wasn't come-en her room, didn't have the right I
just reckon you ain't the right man, lieutenant."

The soldier with the lamp grinned too.

" Oh, she's a lady, she is," the deputy said mincingly.

" Shut up," the officer commanded. Then, turning to the
door: " Miss, you oughter let us in. It's the law. We won't
bother you. Not a bit." His voice was wheedling, cajoling,
now. "We'll catch him sooner or later. If he's hiding in
there, you won't do him any good acting this way-----"

Covertly, Mr. Munn glanced down the hall. It was shadowy
there, almost dark, but the loft ladder, it was not there.
Doctor MacDonald was in the loft. He had taken the ladder
up. He was not in the room there, with the girl.

" —not a bit of good, Miss.   Now, Miss, open up, please."

" No," the girl's voice replied.

"All right, all right." The officer's voice was loud again,
and harsh. "All right, Miss, we're gonna knock the door
down,"

" I told you I had a shotgun," the girl's voice said.

"I don't believe it," the officer answered. "We're gonna
knock it down."

" She's got a gun all right," Mr. Munn said.

'" How do you know?"

" There was a gun sitting in the corner, I saw it. Eight
there"—and Mr. Munn pointed toward the corner beyond
the door. " It's gone now."